From the monthly archives:

May 2010

May 18, 2010 – Madison River, Montana

by Capitol Area Fishing on May 22, 2010

Fishermen on the Madison

The morning started out cold with temps around 30 degrees but was to warm up to 65 later in the day. I had decided to fish the Madison because the Gallatin had turned cloudy due to warmer weather and snow run off.

It was a perfect day for a trip up the road on Hwy 191 thru the Yellowstone Park to 287 toward Hebgen lake. This route borders both the Hebgen and Quake lakes finally running along the Madison river. One half of Lake Hebgen is still covered with ice but that did not deter the 5 or 6 boats out trolling for brown trout, also saw some fisherman trying their luck from shore.

Hebgen Lake

Stopped at a fly shop down below both lakes called the Slide Inn to pick up some flies and find out the best way to fish the river. John an employee at the shop was very helpful and seemed genuinely pleased to give me the low down on fishing the Madison After picking up a few flies and a new leader I was off to try my luck.

Madison River is wider than the Gallatin with open water surrounded by ranch land in a lot of areas, meaning that you are able to make back casts without ending up in the trees – in my case this was a blessing. Fishing this river is also different than the Gallatin in that you are often blind casting to the fish with the use of a strike indicator (a  floating marker 4-5 ft up from your fly). This lets you know when to set the hook .

Brown Trout on Madison

The trout in this river average 14 to 20 inches with the rare monster now and then. Also, the vistas from the river are amazing with the mountains as your back drop, this part of the country gives you a feeling of how lucky we are to have such beauty within our borders. Look at the pictures and if you need more information on this Blue Label trout stream send me an e mail.

Next up: I take a break from fishing and hike up to Storm Castle Rock, so stay tuned!

Bridge over the Madison River

Happy Hour Bar


Comments & Photos

by Capitol Area Fishing on May 16, 2010

Duct Tape - The Fisherman's Friend

Calling all Fishermen! I welcome all comments or photos about your own fishing experiences. Or, feel free to weigh in on mine. There’s a comment section at the end of each posting – click on the link to add the comment. Or, you can email me at If you’d like to send along photos, just attach them to an email, and I’ll make sure they get posted.


May 16 – Gallatin River, Montana

by Capitol Area Fishing on May 16, 2010

Rainbow on the Gallatin

Vic with Dinner

When I first ventured out on the river just down stream from where I’m staying it was snowing lightly. I thought to myself,  “Oh well another slow day,”  as the snow grew heavier. I opted for my fly rod and dry flies despite the weather conditions.

After the first hour and changing fly patterns 3 times the sun peeked out and the snow abated. Lo and behold a May fly hatch started, and suddenly rainbow and brown trout were rising everywhere. This kept up for several hours despite the snow returning.

I was able to land 12 nice fish and lose 2. These fish averaged 12 to 14 inches and were fat with eggs; this I found out because I kept 4 for dinner that night. Usually I only catch and release but a opportunity to have fresh caught trout for dinner?? They where delicious but I feel bad about the eggs, so no more keeping trout for dinner until after the spawning season. If you want recipes look in the food section of this blog.

The good thing about fishing in inclement weather is that often you are the only one on the river and have the fish to yourself. Stay tuned for my next report as I move on over to the Madison River.

Gallatin Rapids


May 14 – The Fly Shop – Big Sky, Montana

by Capitol Area Fishing on May 14, 2010

I was in the local fly shop here in Big Sky, MT a few days ago replacing the flies I had left in the many overhanging branches along the river. The owner came over and introduced herself; we began discussing various fly patterns and weather conditions on the Gallatin River. One of her employees and a local guide came over and joined the conversation. When I explained that I also had a fishing blog things got interesting. 

They both recommended that I go over to the nearby Madison River for opening day as it is quite a spectacle with all the local fisherman lining the banks to catch the first fish of the season.

Things became even more animated as he explained that each year a group of  guys in their 70’s and 80’s bring their campers and stay for the whole season. These fine old gentlemen tie their own flies and jealously guard their personal patterns. They can often be observed in front of their campers tying these secret flies and when  approached the fly is discreetly covered. They will be civil, but you are not encouraged to hang around lest you get a peek of their special pattern and put it on Google!

I was also told that there a several fine drinking establishments in the area and that the beer flows as freely as the fish stories. And of course we all know that fisherman never lie. So get out there and wet a line!

View from a Fine Drinking Establishment


May 11 – Gallatin River, Montana

May 12, 2010

The weather did not cooperate today as it had the previous day. Temps were in the 40’s and there were snow showers in the afternoon. The river conditions were windy so I got out my spinning gear (ultra lite) with a mepps spinner bait. Didn’t have any luck with this rig but I think the weather had […]

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May 10, 2010 – Big Sky, Montana

May 12, 2010

I was tired of waiting for the weather to warm up here in Maryland so I took off to Montana with my fishing gear to visit my friend of 40 years, Rod Jude. The first night it snowed 5″.  But, after a couple of days, and armed with fishing license, waders, my 6 wt Orvis fly rod, […]

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